Wednesday, November 4, 2015

For Mature Audiences?

Usually when we post the podcast every week at one minute past midnight on Saturday Night / Sunday Morning, the feed hits iTunes within an hour of going live on the Pod Sequentialism page at This weeks show didn't. At first, I thought it was a technical glitch but after several attempts by my engineer, Mason Booker, to reach someone at iTunes we realized that the title of this week's episode (The Straight Story on Gay Superheroes) may have flagged it as content "for mature audiences."

If you've listened to my podcast you know that we handle all topics in a non-juvenile fashion, which by definition could be said to have been handled maturely, but being labeled "for mature audiences" means it's much more difficult for non-subscribers to access and download. It's the equivalent of an R-Rating, which hugely limits the audience for the show.

I'm very careful not to use profanity on air, and I select my guests with that in mind. This week, I had no guest, so it was all me and I didn't use any words that you can't hear on daytime TV or in a PG-Rated movie. In other words, mere discussion of the treatment of LGBT concerns in the comics medium was, itself, enough to flag the episode for suppression-of-sorts by iTunes as though it were a show laced with profanity or hate speech–when in fact it was quite the opposite.

It appears that iTunes views the word "Gay" as an obscenity.

I have no intention of breaking any rules that govern the category division at iTunes. I just find it ridiculous that in the same year the Supreme Court of the United States of America ruled in favor of marriage equality, it is possible that something like this would be an issue. Especially at a company like Apple, which is one of the few Fortune 500 companies with an openly gay CEO. We are obviously working hard to resolve this. In the meantime, if you subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, you can view a listing for episode#003, and you can click to download it. If you are not a subscriber, the third episode doesn't even appear on the Pod Sequentialism description page in iTunes.

I'm hoping that this problem is not systemic, and that it is the result of a hastily made decision by a lower ranking employee at Apple. We'll know more soon, and if the info reveals a bigger issue at stake we'll need your help in spreading the word to Buzzfeed, Reddit, The Huffington Post, other news aggregate sites, and GLAAD.

Whether you agree with my point of view or not, I implore you to subscribe to the podcast and download episode #03 as an act against censorship. If you do support greater diversity in comics then it is imperative that you subscribe and download this episode to send the message that equality and the support of civil rights is a just and popular cause.

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